Thursday, May 30, 2013

15 Top Luxury Brands

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Emerald City Space

I'm still loving the color emerald and will be for a long while!  It's rich, luxurious, and the pure definition of glamour.  Instead of simply infusing your wardrobe with this lavish color, try expanding this palette to your home as well.  Then you can love emerald all year long as well.
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gifts for the Stylish Grad in your Life

Real World Attire

Tech Goodies

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Future of Luxury Fashion: Heather Marie

Heather Marie, founder and CEO, 72Lux

Not only are e-commerce sites becoming content publishers, your favorite blogs and magazines are becoming online bazaars, as well. Heather Marie's 72Lux smoothly shuttles you from your latest must-have discovery to a one-click checkout at a trusted e-retailer. It's a true luxury, created by the 28-year-old style-savvy techie, who first turned a profit on eBay when she was 11.

Early Adopter: “I always wondered how machines work and why they work. Sometimes, I think I should have been an engineer. But then again, I grew up in Wisconsin riding horses, hiking, and walking around barefoot in denim and hand-me-down T-shirts. That lack of exposure to fashion made me love it!”

Plug And Play: “A decade ago, luxury brands thought e-commerce would never work for high-end products. Now that shoppers are increasingly turning to e-commerce, those same brands are tripping over themselves trying to launch digital sales and promotion strategies (if they haven’t already). We were the first to create a full, digital platform for easy distribution, editorial promotion, and public relations that also generates revenue for publishers.”

Hanging With The It-Crowd: "When I was first looking for a technical cofounder, I found several great technologists who were really excited about the idea, but couldn’t look past the idea that a lot of the coding would involve 'designer handbags, high heels, and makeup.' But now, I’m surprised by how much knowledge our top tech people have about the industry. It has definitely been an adjustment!"

Photographed by Winnie Au, Hair and Makeup by Bethany Brill, Styled by Haley Loewenthal.  Content originally published from Refinery29.
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Future of Luxury Fashion: Tracy Taylor

Tracy Taylor, acting style director, Net-A-Porter

Styling fashion shoots, crafting editorial content, making appearances at runway shows dressed to the nines, and enforcing quality, voice, and vision — sounds like an old-fashioned, high-on-the-masthead fashion editor, right? But, in today's marketplace, all those time-tested edit skills can appear seriously cutting edge when an e-commerce site is looking to out-luxe the competition. At Net-A-Porter, it's Tracy Taylor's extensive experience for glossy pubs like Details and Marie Claire and her uncompromising editorial touch that's helping to put the luxury-lined online retailer ahead of the curve.

Print To Pixels: “I grew up in L.A. I fell in love with fashion. I started my career there, shooting male models for agencies, then landed a West Coast fashion editor gig at DNRThen I did the same thing forWomen’s Wear Daily and W, ultimately moving to New York to step in as fashion editor at Details. I moved to Marie Claire for eight years, five of them as the fashion director. Still, my most recent move to Net-A-Porter was my favorite.”

Online Avatar: “In the late '90s, Net-A-Porter founder Natalie Massenet was focused on landing a top editorial job at a high-profile international magazine. But then, during a self-proclaimed 'mind explosion,' she dreamt up this fabulous concept for the Internet. She wanted to find a way merge two things she loved — the shopping experience with the joy of reading the latest magazine — and our site was born. I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for that.”

In The Details: “You know, using our site always feels like a shopping experience to me. I know it was created to give shoppers an intuitive experience, and I appreciate that. But it’s the little things — like how we feature the model’s measurements, what size she’s wearing in the photo, and our magnify tool — that, I think, gives shoppers (like me!) confidence.”

Photographed by Winnie Au, hair by Andrew Colvin.  Content originally published from Refinery29
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Givenchy Fall 2013 Collection

The strength and edginess of Givenchy's Fall 2013 collection is so wonderfully breathtaking.  It reminds me of the sun about to burst, leaving Earth with just a few minutes of peace before the scorching.  While I typically prefer more flowy and pastel styles, the hard romanticism of Givenchy's clothes is just spectacular.

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Future of Luxury Fashion: Chris Morton

Chris Morton, CEO and cofounder, Lyst

Love our discount sites as we do, when it comes to custom-curated experiences, intuitive interfaces, and the pleasures of sharing your discoveries with friends, well...let's just say not all e-commerce is created equal. Near the top of the chain is Chris Morton's Lyst, an online shop that resembles a rolling, constantly updated social-networking feed. There, each new "post" is a piece you'll immediately covet, and your "friends" are your fellow shoppers and the designers you love. Poke away.

Tech Support: “The tech world and the fashion world speak different languages. I mean, the tech worldappears to be super-rational. The fashion world appears to be super-emotional. But the truth is, both want to create amazing shopping experiences, and both are needed for a great customer experience. A good fashion e-commerce site should work at least as well as Amazon, but it should be a lot more inspiring. At the same time, it can’t just be lots of rich images (and music) without simple navigation and functionality.”

Crowd Sourcing: “We’re all inspired by friends, influencers, and magazines, and most of us tend to ask someone else’s opinion before we buy something — especially when it comes to fashion. If you see something that your favorite brand, magazine, or blogger has added on Lyst, it’s the same thing — instant validation that the product you’ve been thinking of is a great buy. There’s no way that could happen in a physical store.”

Back to the Future: “Now, online, we're returning to the original luxury experience — one that knows what we’re into, that’s customized to your style and is full of things you love. In the future, we’ll all shop from platforms that have been tailored to us. Really, we're only at day one of how people buy fashion online.”

Photographed by Eva K Salvi.  Content originally published from Refinery29
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Georgie and Elaine on Vicaire NY

Calling all my G&E girls!  You can now own your very own Georgie and Elaine piece by visiting Vicaire NY's website.  If you haven't heard of Vicaire NY, its a "curated online shopping space carrying only the BEST US-based emerging designers".  Check it out!  You don't want to miss out on your opportunity to own such beautiful pieces from G&E's first collection!

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Future of Luxury Fashion: Philip Bjerknes and Julie Fredrickson

Philip Bjerknes and Julie Fredrickson, cofounders, PlayAPI

Exquisite and inspiring — sure — but who says luxury can't be a little fun? Certainly it wasn't PlayAPI,cofounders Julie Fredrickson and Phillip Bjerknes. With their modular, modifiable programming platform, brands can create Facebook apps and mini-sites that allow you to build looks, vote on your favorite pieces, play fashion-themed games, and more. The end result? A personal, lighthearted relationship with your favorite label, which becomes less of a distant corporate monolith and more of an always-accessible digital playground pal .

Building A Better Mousetrap:

Bjerknes: “The trick about what we do is to give companies tools that are flexible enough that they can be altered to look and feel like any brand, but have enough of the basic technical parts that you can use them for any application. And, because we’re cost-efficient, brands can experiment more with creating the right message without sinking a large chunk of their budget. The end result is that a lot more marketing campaigns will succeed on their creative merits, rather than because the brand spent a lot of media dollars to get their message across.”

Identity Crisis:

Fredrickson: “High-net-worth consumers were the first to adopt new technologies, so luxury brands that didn’t move with them lost out on being able to touch their core consumer in many ways. Luxury consumers are more sensitive about having an experience that's convenient, and nothing says ‘on demand’ quite like constant access to a brand delivered straight to you through whatever medium you want. Tech also forced brands to be more articulate about their identity — to reinforce one core message across multiple platforms. Honestly, the most impressive digitally active brands are those who have a strong sense of themselves to begin with.”

Digital Divide:
Bjerknes: "Framing the digital world as 'IRL-lite' doesn’t make sense. For the lack of tangibility, you have the amazing ability for a community of fans and customers to come together around a brand and its communications. Honestly, that is just as important as any product. Also, the idea that tech somehow allows the barbarians in the gate is a little hollow. Good taste will always be the ultimate protector of luxury, and you can have that on any platform.”

Photographed by Winnie Au, Hair and Makeup by Bethany Brill, Styled by Haley Loewenthal.  Content originally published from Refinery29. 
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Future of Luxury Fashion: Imran Amed

Imran Amed, founder and editor, The Business of Fashion

This radically different luxury market requires a new sort of chronicler and journalist. No one else fits that bill quite like Imran Amed, the creator of the seven-year-old industry must-read, The Business of Fashion. The McGill and Harvard Business School-educated London import went from advising professional investors about trends in the luxury sector to reporting on them. If you want to know how tech and fashion are transforming each other, ask Amed.

Going Mobile: "Smartphones are the single most important device a consumer owns, managing every aspect of their lives. In the U.S., there're 700,000 new smartphone consumers every week and some online fashion retailers are now doing 30% or more of their sales over mobile devices. That’s just the start. We're still at the beginning of what is a fundamental shift in consumer behavior. This is not something that luxury brands can ignore, no matter how rarefied, special, or exclusive they may be."

The New Boutique: "Going into a physical store will always be important. Eventually, we will see a real blurring of the lines between the two, where digital tools will enhance the physical retail experience, and vice versa. Physical retail will depend more and more on a brand’s ability to create an experience that the customer values, not just facilitate a transaction."

The Future of Luxury "Social media is upending traditional media, making fashion more open and real-time than ever before. The idea of serving customers in separate retail channels is beginning to disappear. The media and fashion landscapes are changing so fast, it’s hard to say what their future looks like. What’s clear is that in order to thrive in times of rapid change, we will have to adapt and iterate quickly, and embrace the pace of change. But, even if the fashion landscape is unrecognizable 10 years from now, it will still rely on one thing — creatives and business people working together."

Photographed by Eva K Salvi, grooming by Anna Gibson.  Content originally published from Refinery29.
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Future of Luxury Fashion: Ruzwana Bashir

Ruzwana Bashir, founder and CEO, Peek

Planning an eventful, enriching vacation can be maddening, even for a Fulbright scholar, Oxford educated, Harvard MBA, Goldman Sachs,, and Gilt Groupe-trained marvel like Ruzwana Bashir. But her frustration with booking an escape became the inspiration behind Peek. Stocked with rich, tailored itineraries, lush photography, and tastemaker travelogues, the soup-to-nuts luxury booking website replaces your travel agent and your glossy travel mags at once. Seemless, indeed. 

Tech Crush: "I fell in love with the idea of building a business at a really young age. I craved the opportunity to build a business from scratch. At Gilt Groupe, I realized just how transformative technology could be in creating wonderful user experiences and rethinking traditional business models. I was hooked!"

My Moment: “The inspiration for Peek came from a special birthday trip to Istanbul. I spent 20 hours searching through guidebooks, asking friends, and browsing the web for the best things to do there. Then, I ended up having to call far-flung companies to book all the experiences I'd discovered. It was so lengthy and frustrating, I wished there was a one-stop shop to book amazing activities online. It didn't exist. So, I created it!”

Peek Perfection: "We focus on storytelling through beautiful photography and captivating editorial, so our users can imagine themselves embarking on the activity they’re learning about. We plan a whole trip and discover a city’s hidden gems through a diverse group of tastemakers — Diane von F├╝rstenberg, Tory Burch, Wolfgang Puck, Steve Aoki, and French Laundry’s Tim Hollingsworth. At its heart, Peek is about being able to tell stories that people can connect with."

Photographed by Michelle Drewes, Hair and makeup by Katie Nash.  Content originally published from Refinery29.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oscar de la Renta: Fall 2013

Oscar de la Renta is definitely taking advantage of the recent influx of 1920's era-inspired glamour.  De la Renta has followed his usual pattern of unbelievably feminine clothes with his more recent trend of jewel tones, including a hot pink dress that was reminiscent of his Spring 2013 collection.  The bold lip and luxe fabrics really make this Fall 2013 collection fabulous.
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